Growth and survival trade-offs and outbreeding depression in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Evolution. 2007 May;61(5):1225-37. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2007.00102.x.


The purpose of this study was to examine, using a rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) model system, the fitness consequences of three generations of introgression of genotypes adapted to two different environments (culture and nature). The experiments also isolated the influence of competitive interactions and risk of predation on the relative growth and survival of the wild and backcrossed lines. Line crosses representing fast-growing pure domestic (D), slow-growing pure wild (W), domestic x wild hybrids (F1), F1 x wild backcrosses (B1), and B1 x wild backcrosses (B2) were generated and reared under (1) culture conditions, (2) seminatural conditions with competition among genotypes, and (3) seminatural conditions under risk of predation. Survival of the fry in a seminatural environment with competition fit an additive model of gene action with the domestic fish having the highest survival and the wild fish the lowest, but under risk of predation outbreeding depression was suggested by low survival of the B2 lines. Evidence of a trade-off in growth and survival under risk of predation along with observations of genetically determined behavioral differences among the strains may provide some explanation for the observed differences in survival among the strains. This information is relevant to improving our evolutionary understanding of the interaction among genomes, and the influence of environment, during hybridization events. Results from this experiment indicate that alteration of phenotype likely played a prominent role in the reduced fitness experienced by progeny produced after three generations of introgression, supporting the theory that disruption of genotypes selected for adaptation to local conditions may be a primary cause of outbreeding depression in species such as salmon.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Competitive Behavior
  • Ecosystem*
  • Female
  • Hybridization, Genetic / physiology*
  • Longevity / physiology*
  • Male
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss / genetics
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss / growth & development*
  • Predatory Behavior
  • Selection, Genetic*